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Socialist Utopia Dinners

March 29, 2011

We’ve started a new tradition at Toad Lane – communal dinners on Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays. People sign up in advance on a whiteboard (usually two people per day), and food is cooked and served to everyone, even leaving some for housemates unable to make it for dinner.

Originally we had tried to figure a system of everyone paying precisely the same amount, but in the interest of simplicity and equity we have instead instituted the principle of “socialist utopia” – everyone gives according to their means and ability, and eats according to their need. All forms of contribution are valued – financial, cooking, and cleaning. So far the system is working out well and is engendering a great deal of house participation – it gives a space outside of formal house meetings for us to plan and debrief events and projects.

Perhaps the most impressive thing about Socialist Utopia dinners is that we’ve been able to solve, almost by accident, Campus Co-op’s never ending meal-plan troubles: there is no need for complex meal plans, kitchen staff and industrial food production: people can simply cook for each other and the same thing, only better, happens – and for less cash to boot.


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